There is one place every foodie visiting Delhi should go to - the century-old Karim's in Old Delhi. Locals often refered to it as Karim Hotel - one should note that an old restaurant is often called a "hotel" in India - just don't go into one asking for a room, there's none.
Founded in 1913, Karim's has branched out with various outlets all over Delhi: Ashok Vihar, Malviya Nagar, and the high-tech satellite towns like Gurgaon and Noida. But its original mothership is *definitely* the must-visit foodie destination, located off a bustling, often chaotic narrow street of Old Delhi just opposite the 17th-century Jama Masjid, Delhi's largest mosque.
What we had this evening:
- Seekh kebabs: skewers of tender, fragrant minced lamb, expertly spiced (if slightly on the salty side).
- Mutton burra: spiced, barbecued mutton pieces which packed a bite and lots of flavors, definitely a must-order here.
- Karahi chicken: an oily, spicy North Indian/Pakistani stewed chicken. The flavors from the peppers gave the gravy a deep flavor, with a delayed heat effect. Delicious with the tandoor-baked rotis.
- We ordered two types of briyanis: the chicken briyani (which came topped with an egg, cut into halves) and a mutton briyani which had a more robust scent. Both briyanis did not contain any curried gravy, with only the seasoned chicken or mutton to provide the flavors, so one should order a dish with curry gravy to complement the briyani rice.
- Palak paneer: this dish was extremely well-executed. Best tasting paneer used here, whilst the pureed spinach was subtle and absolutely *delicious*!
Cost of the dinner for 4 persons (including some bottled water)? Less than INR1000 or USD18 - which worked out to USD4.50 per person!! Unbelievable value-for-money - for a true taste of Delhi's culinary history.
16, Near Jama Masjid (Gate No. 1)
Old Delhi 110006
Tel: +91 11 2326 4981